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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Birmingham & Sunderland promoted
Birmingham and Sunderland have sealed their promotion
Birmingham and Sunderland have sealed their promotion
Birmingham and Sunderland will play in the Premiership next term after Derby's defeat by Crystal Palace sealed the pair's promotion from the Championship.

The Rams started the day four points adrift of Sunderland and five behind leaders Birmingham and were unable to close the gap, with one match to play.

That means they must be content with a place in the play-offs.

Birmingham go to Preston and Sunderland visit Luton on the final day of the season as they battle for the title.

The board has got to stump up that money and has got to invest that money in the club's future

Birmingham managing director Karren Brady

And Birmingham chairman David Gold says the club's promotion justifies the faith the board showed in manager Steve Bruce, even when fans were calling for him to be sacked in mid-October when Blues were 11 points adrift of then leaders Cardiff.

"A few months back people were looking to see Steve Bruce go from the club," said Gold.

"They were saying to us 'you should do certain things' but forgive me if I now say we have been vindicated for refusing to panic and in keeping faith in Steve.

"It is rare for clubs to go straight back up and it is a great performance to achieve that.

"There have been some dark days but Steve has been outstanding. He was determined to bounce back. He has rebuilt the team and now we are all back where we want to be."

606: DEBATE
BR

And Blues managing director Karren Brady confirmed there will be funds to strengthen the team during the summer.

"Of course there will be funds," she stated.

"There is a lot of money coming into football next year from the broadcasting deal and we have all learnt that the Premiership is the only place to be.

"We have learned from our mistakes, we understand what needs to be done and that is going to take an enormous amount of investment.

"The board has got to stump up that money and has got to invest that money in the club's future."

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn was ecstatic as the club returned to the Premiership a year after leaving it with a record low points tally.

The season began poorly, with five straight defeats under Quinn's management, before the appointment of Roy Keane - since when the club have never looked back.

I'm delighted for the players, who have done a fantastic job

Sunderland manager Roy Keane

"It's terrific because everybody played a part, none more so than Roy and the players," Quinn told the club website.

"It shows that when people put their mind to it and work as a team, you are capable of doing anything.

"There will be immense pride around the city.

"I'm so pleased for the fans and there were times this year when they were the vital part - Derby at home, all those away matches when we had thousands there, even the other night against Burnley when we were 2-1 down, they roared their team on.

"I'm trying to take this in and enjoy it but I'm also thinking very much about going forward and the people of this city have to realise the role they play.

"Looking back at what Roy and his staff have put together in such a short space of time, it's amazing, they are brilliant people."

Keane took the day's excitement in his stride by taking his dog for a walk when the match was on - and he only found out the news of their promotion when someone sent him a text message.

"I'm delighted for the players, who have done a fantastic job," he told the club website.

"I'm also delighted for the staff, who have played such a vital part, the fans and Niall and the board, who have been a great support since I arrived at the club."

SEE ALSO
Quinn astonished by Keane success
29 Apr 07 |  Sunderland
Keane's Sunderland success story
05 Mar 07 |  Sunderland
Crystal Palace 2-0 Derby
29 Apr 07 |  Championship
Birmingham 2-0 Sheff Wed
28 Apr 07 |  Championship
Sunderland 3-2 Burnley
27 Apr 07 |  Championship
Birmingham going for Gold
28 Feb 07 |  Birmingham City
Bruce blasts boo-boys after win
11 Feb 07 |  Birmingham City


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